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Micah 1:13

13. O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.

13. Alliga currum ad camelum (vel, dromedarium; alii vertunt, equos celeres) habitatrix Lachis: principium sceleris ipsa est filiae Zion; quia in te inventae sunt transgressiones Israel.


By bidding the citizens of Lachish to tie their chariots to dromedaries he intimates that it would not be not safe for them to remain in their city, and that nothing would be better for them than to flee elsewhere and to carry away their substance. “Think,” he says, “of flight, and of the quickest flight.” The word רכש, recash, which I render dromedary or camel, is of an uncertain meaning among the Hebrews; some render it swift horses: but we understand the Prophet’s meaning; for he intimates that there would be no time for flight, except they made great haste, for the enemies would come upon them quickly.

And he then subjoins that that city had been the beginning of sin to the Jews; for though he names here the daughter of Zion, he still includes, by taking a part for it the whole, all the Jews. And why he says that Lachish had been the beginning of sin to the citizens of Jerusalem, we may collect from the next clauses, In thee, he says, were found the transgressions of Israel. The citizens of Lachish were then, no doubt, the first who had embraced the corruptions of Jeroboam, and had thus departed from the pure worship of God. When, therefore, contagion had entered that city, it crept, by degrees, into neighboring places, until at length, as we find, the whole kingdom of Judah had become corrupt: and this is what the Prophet repeats more fully in other places. It was not then without reason that he denounces desolation here on the citizens of Lachish; for they had been the authors of sin to their own kindred. However alienated the ten tribes had become from pure faith and pure worship, the kingdom of Judah remained still upright, until Lachish opened the door to ungodly superstitions; and then its superstitions spread through the whole of Judea. She therefore suffered the punishment which she deserved, when she was drawn away into distant exile, or, at least, when she could not otherwise escape from danger, than by fleeing into some fear country, and that very swiftly. She is the beginning, he says, of sin to the daughter of Zion How so? For in thee — (it is more emphatical when the Prophet turns his discourse to Lachish itself) — in thee, he says, were found the transgressions of Israel. It follows —

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